Ask the expert


What are the best cholesterol lowering foods?

What are the best cholesterol lowering foods?

19 September 2019

This content was last reviewed in September 2019 by Jason Webb, a registered nurse in our Health at Hand team.

Thank you for your question.

Following some investigation into this subject, it is surprising to find that there is little evidence based research that is supported by The British Dietetics Association (BDA) regarding this matter. There are many claims, but little conclusive evidence. The following options that we have selected for you are backed by the BDA and Heart UK, as helpful measures that could help aid the reduction of cholesterol in the body.

  • Two portions of fish per week (e.g. sardines, mackerel), has been noted to improve blood pressure and blood lipids (fats), and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • Garlic powder added to the diet has shown “modest reductions” in high cholesterol levels. This is also useful to add flavour to foods instead of adding salt.
  • Soya foods are low in saturated fat and can help the body regulate cholesterol levels. It may be suggested to choose soya products as alternatives to milk & yogurt. Soya based products can also be used in cooking to substitute other food groups, such as soya desserts, soya meat alternatives, soya nuts, edamame beans and tofu.
  • Oats and barley contain beta glucan, which claims to form a gel to help bind cholesterol and prevent it from being absorbed.
  • Plant sterols and stanols have been suggestive to assist the blocking of cholesterol in the intestines. These would include vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, whole grains, fruit & vegetables.
  • Fruit and vegetables are low in saturated fat therefore eating more of them within a balanced diet helps to keep saturated fat intake low.
  • Green tea and black tea, consumed as a drink or capsule, could assist with the lowering of blood pressure and cholesterol due to containing “catechins”, although it is not clear how much would have to consume to receive the benefits.

We hope this has been of some help to you.

Answered by the Health at Hand team.

You may also be interested in...

NHS - cholesterol

Heart UK

NHS - healthy eating tips

Got a health question?

We’re here to help you take care of your health - whenever you need us, wherever you are, whether you're an AXA Health member or not.

Our Ask the Expert service allows you to ask our team of friendly and experienced nurses, midwives, counsellors and pharmacists about any health topic. So if there's something on your mind, why not get in touch now.